If you have a Facebook account, click here to continue logging in.


If you don't have a Facebook account, click here to log in with your Neopets information.
Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)

If you have any questions about the competition then read our awesome FAQ!


Week 648
You are on Week 649
Week 650

Every week we will be starting a new Story Telling competition - with great prizes! The current prize is 2000 NP, plus a rare item!!! This is how it works...

We start a story and you have to write the next few paragraphs. We will select the best submissions every day and put it on the site, and then you have to write the next one, all the way until the story finishes. Got it? Well, submit your paragraphs below!

Story Six Hundred Forty Nine Ends Friday, March 28

The yellow Chomby peered into the mirror and gulped. His complexion looked yellower than usual and he was feeling queasy. Perhaps I shouldn't have skipped breakfast, he thought nervously. Behind him, he could hear the nervous chatter of the other contestants.

This was the big day -- the day Rigo could either make or break his career, which he had built up painstakingly for the past ten years. After years of performing stand-up comedy and creating lame jokes for the kids' section of The Neopian Times, Rigo was ready to face his ultimate task: the biennial Court Jester Contest held by the notoriously stoic King Skarl.

Every two years, comedians from around Neopia gathered to apply for the coveted position on King Skarl's court. The pay was rumored to be phenomenal, and according to residents of Meridell, the court jester was one of the highest positions of the kingdom.

"After all, if someone can make King Skarl laugh, then that makes them, like, extraordinary," a Neopet had once said.

Rigo retreated to the castle lobby, where the other Neopets sat waiting for their turn to present in front of the king. Rigo was contestant #242. The Chomby sat down next to a Mynci wearing #245. After a few calming breaths, Rigo reached into his pocket and pulled out his index cards, on which some of his best knock-knock jokes were written. He began memorizing them.

"Who's there?" the purple Mynci next to him quipped all of a sudden.

"Huh?" Rigo blinked. He didn't realize he had been memorizing out loud. "Oh, uh... I was just practicing... sorry."

"Oh. Well, you should know that knock-knock jokes won't work on King Skarl," the Mynci said. "You need interaction for a knock-knock joke. King Skarl just sits there like a log."

Rigo blinked. "What kind of jokes work best, then?"

The Mynci smiled smugly. "Now, that wouldn't be fair to reveal during the contest, would it?"

Rigo bit his lip. The Mynci could just be joking (trying to make his competition falter, ha), but the Mynci looked too calm --much calmer than everyone else in the entire lobby. The Mynci no doubt had valuable experience and tips.

As if reading the Chomby's thoughts, the Mynci spoke. "Tell you what, kid. I'll strike a deal. I'll give you a couple of jokes that'll for sure make you one of the finalists, as long as you..."

Author: secant
Date: Mar 24th
..."Wait a minute!" the Chomby quickly interrupted. He may have been in the business of laughter, but Rigo knew that it was still a cutthroat business and there were very few out there who could be trusted. After all, so many of the biggest comedians had climbed up the ladder by creating laughter at another's expense.

"How do I know I can trust you?" he asked, narrowing his eyes at the purple form next to him. "After all, why would you want to help me out if you're another competitor for this ONE position."

The Mynci chuckled lightly before his face returned to a serious expression. "Good for you, kid," he said as he slapped the Chomby on his back. "I can see that you've already learned the most important rule in this business -- trust no one."

Rigo stared into the Mynci's eyes, trying to figure out what was going on behind them. Cynical and helpful don't often pair well together, he knew. So, what was this Mynci up to?

The Mynci impatiently snapped his fingers, bringing Rigo back to the present. He opened his mouth to speak, but before a word escaped, they were interrupted.

"Number 239!" the short green Bruce at the door called out, signaling that the next contestant's turn was up. "Number 240, get ready."

Rigo turned his attention back to the Mynci beside him, panicked. He needed help -- no, he needed jokes -- and he was running out of time. The conversation with this Mynci had taken up all of his time to prepare, and he began to wonder if this was the Mynci's plan all along.

"Listen," the Mynci told him sternly. "We don't have much time, so let me speak -- you just nod along to show that you understand what I'm saying. Every two years, for the past fourteen years, I have been coming to this competition to try to win this position. Every time, though, I am sent home without any luck. The minute I saw you, however, I realized that I needed to change my plan. I don't need to get myself in -- I just need to get someone else in... someone that I can trust. That, my young Chomby, is you."

With that, the Mynci took out his joke cards and presented them to Rigo with a flourish. Rigo glanced down at the first one, a short joke about turnips, and chuckled. These were good... no, these were really great jokes. He shifted through the cards, feeling his confidence increase as he read each one.

Once he had committed them to memory, Rigo looked back at the Mynci and waited for him to resume speaking.

"Look," the Mynci said with a sigh, "I really need your help with this. I know you don't have to follow through on your deal, but the thing is... you're my last chance."

"Your last chance for what?" Rigo asked before quickly covering his mouth. Just nod, don't speak... those were the rules he'd been given.

The Mynci continued on without acknowledging the Chomby's error. "My brother won this contest sixteen years ago. You were probably too young to remember this, but my brother was a huge hit -- he was hailed the best of the best when it came to comedians. So, it came as no surprise that he was selected. What was a surprise, though, was who he was when he returned home after two years... I didn't -- actually, I still don't -- recognize him. It's like he's a completely different Mynci. I did some digging and he isn't the only one. Everyone who is selected returns home as a different Neopet. I don't know what happens while they are here, but I need to find out so I can get my brother back."

"So, that's where I come in," Rigo said breathlessly as he finished piecing together the immensity of the favor being requested of him.

"It is," the Mynci confirmed. "I need you to spy for me, since I cannot do it myself."

"Number 242!" Rigo suddenly heard, snapping his attention away from his thoughts and back to the waiting room. How had the Bruce reached his number already? He sat frozen, watching the green Bruce approach him before looking back at the Mynci, trying to ignore the weight of emotions bearing down on him.

"Go," the Mynci told him, pushing him out of his chair and toward the doorman's impatient form. "I believe in you."

"Wait!" Rigo cried, looking back at the Mynci. "I don't even know your name!"

The Mynci smiled at Rigo and...

Author: coco_bella
Date: Mar 24th
...only replied with a wink.

"Come along, come along," the doorman hurried, pressing Rigo toward the king's chambers. The Chomby looked back over his shoulder toward the Mynci, who gave a short wave. A final wish for luck. The corridor they passed through was dark as night, with sporadic shafts of gleaming light. It felt like he was heading down, toward the dungeons Rigo thought with a gulp. He felt his legs start to shake beneath him, whether with nerves or terror he could not rightly say.

"Here we are then, lad," the doorman said as they approached a large wooden door that spanned from the corridor's floor to its ceiling. "Best of luck."

The doorman turned away, leaving Rigo standing there alone. With a deep breath and a hesitant hand he pushed the door open, though not without effort. Bright light flooded his vision. When it cleared he saw the king before him, Skarl himself, who was sitting upon his throne and absentmindedly chewing on a carrot. The blue Skeith filled the seat with his bulk, and his crown was placed lopsidedly upon his head.

"Number 242!" a voice to Rigo's left announced, which caused the Chomby to jump slightly, startled.

"Are we only that far through?" King Skarl grumbled as he squinted at the Chomby. "I'm starting to get hungry again."

"You may begin," the voice said.

Rigo steadied himself, struggling to remember the jokes that the Mynci has shown him only a few minutes previously. With a start, he began.

"Can we turnip the heat today?" he said in his most jovial voice, cracking the widest smile he could manage, “Or will we have to wait till to-marrow?”

It was certainly a good joke, Rigo thought, noting the slight smile forming upon the king's lips. His nerves settled slightly, his thoughts drifting back to the Mynci and his brother. With a slight shake of his head he brought himself out of this reverie; there was no point thinking about that now. He just had to make it through this first round.

"What did the Mortog say..."

He trailed off as his mouth fell open, when he suddenly noticed...

Author: kadface
Date: Mar 25th
...the coveted jester hat sitting perched on its very own throne next to the king. It was made of rich purple, red, and yellow fabrics, with three shiny bells at the points of the cap. Rigo had spent many sleepless nights picturing himself in that very hat.

King Skarl cleared his throat loudly. "Well?"

Rigo gulped and tried to refocus his attention, saying in a fully confident voice, "What did the Mortog say to the princess?" He paused for effect and then puckered his lips. "Want to try that again, m'lady?"

King Skarl gave a visible chuckle and waved his hand to motion for Rigo to continue. The Chomby was feeling rather assured of himself at this point. The Mynci had not done him wrong.

"How long does it take a Skeith to finish a game of Cheeseroller?" Rigo asked, dramatically scratching his head. He shrugged and said, "No idea, but it takes him exactly five seconds to eat the cheese!"

The King gave a hearty guffaw, which echoed around the chamber. He laughed until tears formed in his eyes, and Rigo even heard the guards behind him dutifully laughing as well. The Chomby joined in with a rush of relief.

"That's the best routine I've heard all day," King Skarl announced, giving Rigo an approving nod. With great effort, the Skeith shuffled to his feet, his robes swaying languidly. "I grant you the honor of being Court Jester to the King of Meridell."

"Sir," came a voice from behind Rigo. He turned to see the green Bruce from before. Rigo had not even heard him enter. "You still have several applicants in the hall--"

King Skarl silenced him with a wave of his hand. "I grow tired of sitting all day. What is your name?"

"Rigo," the Chomby replied, bowing.

"Shall I make the announcement, then?" the Bruce asked.

Rigo stood rooted to the spot. He couldn't believe he was actually going to be the court jester! It was his lifelong dream.

King Skarl made to reach for the jester's hat and then paused. "Not yet. First..."

Author: treeword
Date: Mar 25th
...King Skarl snapped his fingers and the green Bruce stepped forward. Rigo noticed that he was carrying a piece of parchment. "First," Skarl continued, "you must sign this contract."

"Contract?" Rigo asked. "What kind of contract?"

A dark frown crossed over Skarl's features, and it was very obvious that he didn't like to be questioned. Luckily, the Bruce was able to answer.

"It's rather standard," the Bruce quickly explained. "It just says that you won't go out and tell everyone about the inner workings of the castle. As the jester, you may be privy to conversations that can't be repeated outside of these walls. This just says that you won't talk to outsiders about what you might see or hear here."

"That sounds reasonable," Rigo agreed. He then took an offered quill made from a White Weewoo feather. As he started to write his name on the contract, however, he couldn't help but think of the mysterious Mynci he had met in the lobby. According to him, everyone that took this job was changed by it somehow, and Rigo thought that perhaps he should actually take time to read this contract before signing.

"What are you waiting for?" King Skarl boomed. "Sign the contract or get out. Someone else will be happy to sign such a simple agreement."

The Chomby smiled nervously as he told himself he was just being foolish. That Mynci no doubt was worried over nothing, and this was Rigo's big chance to finally fulfill his dreams. He signed his name boldly on the dotted lines.

A small part of him heard a strange noise after he had signed, like an ominous hiss, but he immediately ignored it. His eyes were on that brightly-coloured jester's hat that Skarl was now handing him.

"Show him to his quarters," the king commanded, "and bring in the food. I'm starving."

The Bruce bowed slightly and led the overjoyed Chomby out of the room as plate after plate of delicious delicacies were brought in. Together they walked down the hall and up a flight of stone steps to another hall. Rigo looked around and tried to get an idea of the lay of the castle, but there were just so many twists and turns to remember. Finally, they came to a huge wooden door, which the Bruce opened to reveal a spacious bedroom. Rigo was awed, as this one room was bigger than his entire house, and he stepped inside slowly as he looked around. Dominating the room was a massive bed covered with a luxurious purple blanket. He had never seen anything so majestic.

"I trust this room is to your liking," the Bruce said.

"It's amazing," Rigo replied in a breathless manner.

"Well, I'll leave you to get settled, then. My name is Ian, and if you need anything just ask. You now have free reign of the castle and the grounds, except for the dungeon. You wouldn't want to go there, anyway." He paused for a moment. "Are you hungry? I can have some food sent up if you like."

Rigo shook his head. "I think I'm too excited to eat," he answered.

Ian nodded. "It has been an interesting day," he said, "although I've seen it all before. As I said, ask if you need anything. I suspect you just want some peace and quiet so you can write."

"Write?"

Again Ian nodded. "King Skarl probably won't call for you tonight because he's seen so many jesters today, but no doubt he'll call for you in the morning. He likes to laugh before breakfast, and he always wants new material. Your jokes were great today, and I'm sure your new ones will be even better." He smiled warmly. "Welcome to the castle," he said as he closed the door.

Rigo stood alone as his limbs shook slightly, so that the bells on the jester's hat he still held jingled. He had been so excited to finally get this position that he had never thought ahead to what would happen if he had actually become the jester. The jokes he had told had been great, but it wasn't his material. His knock-knock jokes were still on the crumpled index cards in his pockets, but he knew he couldn't use those.

Sweat gathered on his forehead as he considered the matter, and he realized there was only one thing he could do...

Author: tj_wagner
Date: Mar 26th
...He had to find the Mynci. It had been the purple Neopet who had written the material he'd used and he who, in theory, had the ability to do it again -- or, at least, teach Rigo to write similar material of his own. The Mynci had, after all, expressed the wish that Rigo be selected for the court jester position. He'd wanted Rigo to get through so that Rigo could serve as his contact from the inside, and the only way Rigo would be able to stay in the castle would be if he received the Mynci's help. Surely he'd still be on Rigo's side.

The Chomby stifled a yawn as he cautiously opened the wooden door. The room truly was lovely, and he would've liked nothing more than to throw himself on that huge, velvet-draped bed, but he couldn't think of sleep right now. He had more pressing matters to attend to. As simple as the solution seemed, a problem presented itself within a matter of minutes. One corridor led to another that looked exactly the same as the first, and that corridor led to a flight of stairs that led to another corridor that led to yet another. Also, each and every door was made out of the same wood as his own bedroom door. He paused, knowing that he was hopelessly lost. This place was like a maze -- like some riddle he couldn't solve. How in the name of King Roo's dice was he supposed to get out of here?!?

Rigo knew he had to go down, at least, so he descended a staircase. First one, then a second, then a third, fourth, and fifth. Rigo hadn't remembered climbing so many staircases earlier. It was possible, though, that he'd been too lost in glee to notice how high he'd been taken. The hallway he walked down now was, naturally, much the same as the others he had just wandered. Stretching out beneath his feet were metres upon metres of polished timber. The wood led to two other passages that branched off in the middle of the walkway, one left and one right. On the walls were portraits of random Neopets and scenes from all around Meridell, as well as large doors precisely like all others he'd seen. At the very end of the space was an oak cabinet, tall and imposing with a display of trinkets within its glass sheeting. Yes, it was very much the same.

Halting in the act of turning left, Rigo backpedalled. In his periphery he'd noticed something that was very decidedly not the same as in the corridors he'd walked before. One of the heavy doors was ajar, ever so slightly. He gulped as he thought. He hadn't considered knocking on any of the doors he'd passed, though he'd been sure that some of them had to have been occupied. He'd been too worried that anyone he met would ask him why he wanted to get back downstairs when all he really should be concentrating on was writing new jokes for the king. It was for that reason that he'd tried to move quietly.

The closer he moved to the door, however, the more frantically Rigo's thoughts flew. He'd only just been appointed Skarl's new court jester. It wouldn't be unreasonable to assume that most Neopians wouldn't know that there had even been a new appointment, let alone that he, Rigo, was that appointment. Even so, the Chomby berated himself at the sound of a creak. One of the floorboards he'd trodden on was squeaky and he couldn't help but liken the timber board to a plank on a pirate ship. Was he walking the plank to his own doom? Rigo's breathing sped.

There was the sound of a cough, faint and feeble. Clearly someone was, indeed, inside. Summoning his courage, Rigo rapped on the door before he could lose his nerve. "Excuse me?" he asked. His voice was shaky.

The sound of hooves filled the air and Rigo dared to look up as the door slowly swung open. "Yes?" The face that met his gaze was blank. "Who are you? What do you want?" The pink Ixi coughed.

Rigo swallowed to moisten his too-dry throat. "My name is Rigo," he began. "I'm... well, lost. I was hoping for directions to the castle lobby."

"Lost?" The pink Neopet cracked a reluctant half-smile though her features remained otherwise rigid. "You must be new to the castle."

The Chomby's nerves faded enough for him to tell her that he'd only moved in that day. Twenty or so minutes ago, in fact.

Furry as the Ixi's face was, a new, quizzical crease could be discerned between the other Neopet's eyes. "Today?" she repeated, her eyes narrowing. "You wouldn't be the new jester?"

"I am," Rigo admitted hesitantly. If she asked why he wasn't in his room he could slip her the excuse that he was hungry.

The other Neopet's reaction was unexpected. Her throat worked and she seized Rigo's arm, jerking him toward her. This close, Rigo could see the mix of emotions playing out across her expression. The droop of her ears told Rigo that she was sad, even miserable, and the tightness of her jaw suggested a palpable anxiety. It was the shadows under her eyes and the almost haunted glimmer in their black depths, though, that stole his breath. They expressed a suffering so awful that Rigo wasn't sure that it could be phrased in words.

"My name is Adelaide," the Ixi told him. "I'm your predecessor and I want to give you a warning." Her dark eyes, once blank, were suddenly fierce...

Author: fairyxhearts
Date: Mar 26th
..."Just forget them."

Rigo blinked. "Ex... excuse me?"

"Just forget about them," the Ixi repeated. Her voice was thick. "Whoever you were going to see. It's easier this way."

Well, that was ominous. Taken aback, he replied, "What do you mean?"

"Isn't it obvious? You're not going to be able to see them again -- not until Skarl gets bored with you and calls another tournament. You don't get to leave this place."

He couldn't leave the castle? He hadn't seen that on the contract. The clause of silence, sure, but not this. He tried to keep his voice steady. "I wasn't kidding about looking for the lobby. They're just in there."

"Huh." The Ixi sat down on her haunches. "In that case, you'd better say your goodbyes while you still can. You don't want to get caught sneaking out of the castle."

From the way her voice cracked, Rigo guessed she was speaking from experience. "Why wouldn't they let you leave the castle? Surely you get break days?"

"You're a jester now." Adelaide gave a quiet, bitter laugh. "You thought this was an honored position? You exist for Skarl's amusement. You eat here, you sleep here, you prance around and make new jokes and pretend everything's fine. Oh, it starts off as a dream job. Now? Now I just want to see my sister and hug her 'til the end of time. I never want to see another pun in my life." She shook her head. "Right now, you aren't whatsitsname the Chomby--"

"Rigo," he supplied.

"Right now, you aren't Rigo the Chomby. You're Skarl's jester, and you'd better get used to it, because that's going to be your life for a long, long time."

"What's so bad about this?" While he was definitely pretty uneasy, Rigo still didn't understand what was going on. The Mynci had suggested that there was some form of... brainwashing going on, and Adelaide was telling him he was literally a prisoner to his new position. He saw the pieces of the puzzle, but not how they came together. "I mean, I've heard... sinister things. What's really going on here?"

The Ixi sighed. "Well, first things first. Did a Mynci put you up to this?..."

Author: dianacat777
Date: Mar 27th
...Rigo blinked at her in surprise. "How do you know about the Mynci?" He glanced over his shoulder wondering if King Skarl had spies around the castle. Surely, he might.

Adelaide rolled her eyes. "Did he tell you the same baloney about his brother being 'changed' and how you're his only hope so you must win the competition?" By the look on Rigo's face, she took that for confirmation and continued. "Yeah, didn't you think it odd that a total stranger just handed you the jokes that were sure to make King Skarl laugh and ultimately secure your position as jester?"

When she phrased it like that, Rigo felt oddly naive. He took to his own defense. "Why would he lie about something like that? He sounded sincere."

The Ixi rolled her eyes again and peered up and down the corridor. "I was like you -- eager to prove my wit and foolish enough to listen to the Mynci and his stories. The rules are tough, but I never noticed anything strange going on in the castle except for the fact the king likes to take midnight strolls through the corridors wearing Puppyblew pajamas. So, forget about the Mynci and be proud of your position."

Rigo didn't understand everything she was telling him. Her eyes were telling a different story than the one coming from her mouth. Even as she spoke, telling Rigo the job wasn't that bad, her eyes were round and almost terrified.

They heard footsteps approaching. Adelaide whispered quickly, "Just keep taking lefts and you'll make it to the lobby, but hurry!" She then slammed the door with a resounding creak.

Thinking the last few minutes had been the oddest conversation he'd ever had, and not wanting to get caught by a Meridell guard, Rigo took her advice and forked a left every chance he could.

He ended up in the same lobby where he'd sat so nervously only hours before. Unfortunately, it was now empty and silent. With a sigh, he turned and collided with purple fur.

"You!" Rigo cried.

"Shh!" the Mynci hissed.

"I will not shh," Rigo whispered angrily. "I want explanations. I ran into the old jester and she said you told her the same story you told me... that you lied about your brother and some sort of brainwashing going on here."

"Of course she did," the Mynci said. "She doesn't want you to back out of the position, does she? Otherwise, she can't leave!..."

Author: treeword
Date: Mar 27th
..."She's being forced to stay here?" Rigo asked, eyes wide.

"Well, of course!" the Mynci replied, a slightly out of place look of concern on his face. "She'll be forced to stay here until the end of time -- it's in her contract, just as it's in your contract, just as it was in my brother's contract."

"But your brother doesn't exist -- and you yourself said he came home, so he could not have been here 'until the end of time,' anyway," the Chomby rebutted, his suspicions growing and eyes narrowing.

"Sorry," he said, completely unapologetically. "Her mind will be forced to stay."

The Mynci was withholding something. So was Adelaide... nothing here was adding up.

"Why," Rigo continued, "did you claim to need my help when you clearly had another spy already on the inside?" His eyes were slits, now.

The Mynci smirked connivingly. "You really shouldn't ask too many questions, dear Chomby," he replied. "Curiosity made the Meowclops blind."

"Answer the question," Rigo urged, a rigidness in his voice he did not know he could possess.

His counterpart sighed. "She escaped the castle and found me after she discovered some supposed news about the whole situation that was particularly... disturbing. Apparently the brainwashing is a very real thing, and the memories -- Skarl's secrets -- from the jesters are kept in magical tubes in a vault deep in the dungeons. I have no idea where in the dungeons they are, though, and only Neopians with authority are allowed there, anyway."

The Mynci stared at Rigo. The Chomby just gave him a quizzical stare, as though everything he said was a joke, at the very least extremely meaningless.

"Look," the Mynci continued, "before she could tell me the whole story she was captured by guards. I fled from the scene and didn't save her. She screamed insults at me -- though the guards, of course, thought they were intended at them or else no one in particular -- all the way as she was dragged back. She was reluctant to speak to anyone after that, especially me... from what I hear, the torments she suffered afterward made her somewhat... unstable."

Rigo's mouth made a flat and angry line. "So, you want me to undergo similar punishment and take you to the dungeons, and everything, just for you... and how's Adelaide going to escape--"

"Who?" the Mynci interrupted.

The Chomby could have punched him. "The Ixi! The old jester!" he practically yelled. "How will she survive the brainwashing?"

A pause. The Mynci shrugged.

Just then, however, a Draik arrived in the lobby, holding the hand of Adelaide. She had a strange smile present on her face. "You're free to go," he said.

As the Draik exited, she traipsed over to the two...

Author: rielcz
Date: Mar 28th
..."Look at all the Litemites!" she exclaimed in a crackly voice. She leaped into the air as she appeared to be trying to grab the Petpetpets that only she could see while laughing oddly.

Rigo's mouth dropped as he turned toward the Mynci. "What did they do to her?" he gasped.

To his surprise, the Mynci seemed rather unaffected by the entire situation. "That happens when anyone has to go in for repeated brainwashing sessions," he said. "I'm not even sure if there's a way to save her."

"So, what are we going to do?" Rigo demanded.

Again, the Mynci shrugged. "I'm going to keep searching for a way to save my brother," he said. "You're either going to help me or wind up trying to get nonexistent P3s."

His words were cold and harsh, and Rigo involuntarily cringed as if he had been slapped, but he saw truth in the Mynci's words. "Okay," he said. "Where do we start?"

"The dungeon," the Mynci answered, "but you'll have to go alone. I've managed to secure a position here at the castle as part of maintenance so I could help my brother, and I don't dare jeopardize that. I'll show you how to get to the dungeons, but I can't go with you."

That seemed rather cowardly to the Chomby, but he agreed nonetheless. They quietly exited the lobby and headed down another hallway that Rigo hadn't seen before. There were so many twists and turns, Rigo wished he had thought to leave a trail of breadcrumbs so that he could find his way out again. Finally they came to a narrow wooden door set to one side of suit of armor.

"The dungeon's down there," the Mynci explained as he opened the door to reveal a set of steps. "Guards frequently patrol this area, so you don't have long. Find the tubes and maybe you can find a way to save my brother -- and yourself."

Rigo took a deep breath as he stepped through the doorway and started down the steep staircase. The Mynci closed the door behind him and Rigo found himself surrounded by a claustrophobic darkness that even the burning torches on the wall did little to combat.

Deeper and deeper he descended until he reached the lower level. Just like above, there was a series of hallways and he had no idea which way he should go. As he stood there considering, he heard a soft, faint laugh off to his left. Stealthily, he made his way to where the laugh had originated.

He came to a stone room where the door was slightly ajar. Carefully, he peeked inside and was surprised to see the Bruce he had met in Skarl's throne room, diligently working at something inside. Rigo let out a slow breath and was about to move on, thinking that the friendly Bruce surely couldn't the feeling up until the moment Ian turned around.

On the table before him was a series of green tubes that hissed and bubbled. Ian was removing the cork from one of the tubes and, again, Rigo heard the same faint laugh as before, but now he recognized it as belonging to Adelaide.

"You!" Rigo gasped, "You're the one behind all this?"

Ian sighed with mock sadness. "I told you that you weren't allowed to go into the dungeon," he said, "It's such a shame you wouldn't listen. I truly thought you were funny and was hoping that you wouldn't have to be brainwashed at all, but I see that it must be done now that you've seen all this."

Rigo backed away and turned to run, but the Draik he had seen with Adelaide was standing there. Grabbing the Chomby, he forced him back into the room with Ian and stood there, blocking the door. Rigo looked desperately for an exit but saw there was none. "Why are you doing this?" he asked.

Ian frowned darkly. "I'm doing this for the good of the kingdom," he replied. "What would happen to Meridell if all his subjects knew that he was simply a slovenly king whose only wish is to be fatter and richer? If only those jesters could keep quiet about what they see or hear, but none of them could. They all wanted to go and talk about the way Skarl sleepwalks in his pajamas or his late night snacks." Here he paused as he tried to regain his composure. "You should be thanking me," he finally stated. "I'm the one who keeps everything in order. Truly, I'm sorry I have to do this, but it's the only way."

The Bruce whipped around and removed a dark sheet from the table. Underneath the sheet, Rigo saw his contract lying there beneath some sort of card. Ian closed his eyes and began to chant words in a language that wasn't recognizable to Rigo, and the Chomby immediately felt different. It was like someone was trying to steal his memories, and he desperately fought against it.

"There's no use struggling," the Draik instructed. "It will all be over soon."

"No!" Rigo shouted. With his last bit of strength, he grabbed the jester's hat from his head and flung it toward Ian. It flew through the air and knocked the card off the contract.

The spell had been broken, but Ian wasn't ready to give up just yet. "What have you done?" he cried, lunging forward, but his feet became tangled in his robe. He fell into the table, knocking all of the tubes into the air. Rigo watched as they crashed upon the rock floor and something like green smoke began to rise.

"No!" Ian yelled again as his body began to glow. Rigo would later have trouble describing what exactly happened, but as he stood there he saw the stolen memories of the previous jesters fly away as Ian's own mind was wiped clean.

The Draik ran forward to check on Ian and Rigo didn't dare waste the opportunity. He ran out of the room and upstairs, where the Mynci had been waiting.

"It's done," he said. "Now get me out of here."

***

In the following weeks, Rigo kept waiting for a guard or soldier to come knocking at his door, but none ever did. Apparently, King Skarl had been oblivious to the entire situation and the rest of the kingdom just carried on as if nothing had happened.

Rigo had heard from the Mynci later, who happily reported that his brother, Adelaide, and all of the other jesters had returned to normal. Even though hardly anyone would ever know what happened, Rigo felt good that he had been able to help.

He had returned to his life as a simple farmer and never spoke of the strange incident to anyone. As he would hoe his fields, however, he would often pause and look at the sky with an odd little smile on his face.

It almost looked like he was thinking of a joke.

The End

Author: tj_wagner
Date: Mar 28th



Quick Jump

Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6
Week 7Week 8Week 9Week 10Week 11Week 12
Week 13Week 14Week 15Week 16Week 17Week 18
Week 19Week 20Week 21Week 22Week 23Week 24
Week 25Week 26Week 27Week 28Week 29Week 30
Week 31Week 32Week 33Week 34Week 35Week 36
Week 37Week 38Week 39Week 40Week 41Week 42
Week 43Week 44Week 45Week 46Week 47Week 48
Week 49Week 50Week 51Week 52Week 53Week 54
Week 55Week 56Week 57Week 58Week 59Week 60
Week 61Week 62Week 63Week 64Week 65Week 66
Week 67Week 68Week 69Week 70Week 71Week 72
Week 73Week 74Week 75Week 76Week 77Week 78
Week 79Week 80Week 81Week 82Week 83Week 84
Week 85Week 86Week 87Week 88Week 89Week 90
Week 91Week 92Week 93Week 94Week 95Week 96
Week 97Week 98Week 99Week 100Week 101Week 102
Week 103Week 104Week 105Week 106Week 107Week 108
Week 109Week 110Week 111Week 112Week 113Week 114
Week 115Week 116Week 117Week 118Week 119Week 120
Week 121Week 122Week 123Week 124Week 125Week 126
Week 127Week 128Week 129Week 130Week 131Week 132
Week 133Week 134Week 135Week 136Week 137Week 138
Week 139Week 140Week 141Week 142Week 143Week 144
Week 145Week 146Week 147Week 148Week 149Week 150
Week 151Week 152Week 153Week 154Week 155Week 156
Week 157Week 158Week 159Week 160Week 161Week 162
Week 163Week 164Week 165Week 166Week 167Week 168
Week 169Week 170Week 171Week 172Week 173Week 174
Week 175Week 176Week 177Week 178Week 179Week 180
Week 181Week 182Week 183Week 184Week 185Week 186
Week 187Week 188Week 189Week 190Week 191Week 192
Week 193Week 194Week 195Week 196Week 197Week 198
Week 199Week 200Week 201Week 202Week 203Week 204
Week 205Week 206Week 207Week 208Week 209Week 210
Week 211Week 212Week 213Week 214Week 215Week 216
Week 217Week 218Week 219Week 220Week 221Week 222
Week 223Week 224Week 225Week 226Week 227Week 228
Week 229Week 230Week 231Week 232Week 233Week 234
Week 235Week 236Week 237Week 238Week 239Week 240
Week 241Week 242Week 243Week 244Week 245Week 246
Week 247Week 248Week 249Week 250Week 251Week 252
Week 253Week 254Week 255Week 256Week 257Week 258
Week 259Week 260Week 261Week 262Week 263Week 264
Week 265Week 266Week 267Week 268Week 269Week 270
Week 271Week 272Week 273Week 274Week 275Week 276
Week 277Week 278Week 279Week 280Week 281Week 282
Week 283Week 284Week 285Week 286Week 287Week 288
Week 289Week 290Week 291Week 292Week 293Week 294
Week 295Week 296Week 297Week 298Week 299Week 300
Week 301Week 302Week 303Week 304Week 305Week 306
Week 307Week 308Week 309Week 310Week 311Week 312
Week 313Week 314Week 315Week 316Week 317Week 318
Week 319Week 320Week 321Week 322Week 323Week 324
Week 325Week 326Week 327Week 328Week 329Week 330
Week 331Week 332Week 333Week 334Week 335Week 336
Week 337Week 338Week 339Week 340Week 341Week 342
Week 343Week 344Week 345Week 346Week 347Week 348
Week 349Week 350Week 351Week 352Week 353Week 354
Week 355Week 356Week 357Week 358Week 359Week 360
Week 361Week 362Week 363Week 364Week 365Week 366
Week 367Week 368Week 369Week 370Week 371Week 372
Week 373Week 374Week 375Week 376Week 377Week 378
Week 379Week 380Week 381Week 382Week 383Week 384
Week 385Week 386Week 387Week 388Week 389Week 390
Week 391Week 392Week 393Week 394Week 395Week 396
Week 397Week 398Week 399Week 400Week 401Week 402
Week 403Week 404Week 405Week 406Week 407Week 408
Week 409Week 410Week 411Week 412Week 413Week 414
Week 415Week 416Week 417Week 418Week 419Week 420
Week 421Week 422Week 423Week 424Week 425Week 426
Week 427Week 428Week 429Week 430Week 431Week 432
Week 433Week 434Week 435Week 436Week 437Week 438
Week 439Week 440Week 441Week 442Week 443Week 444
Week 445Week 446Week 447Week 448Week 449Week 450
Week 451Week 452Week 453Week 454Week 455Week 456
Week 457Week 458Week 459Week 460Week 461Week 462
Week 463Week 464Week 465Week 466Week 467Week 468
Week 469Week 470Week 471Week 472Week 473Week 474
Week 475Week 476Week 477Week 478Week 479Week 480
Week 481Week 482Week 483Week 484Week 485Week 486
Week 487Week 488Week 489Week 490Week 491Week 492
Week 493Week 494Week 495Week 496Week 497Week 498
Week 499Week 500Week 501Week 502Week 503Week 504
Week 505Week 506Week 507Week 508Week 509Week 510
Week 511Week 512Week 513Week 514Week 515Week 516
Week 517Week 518Week 519Week 520Week 521Week 522
Week 523Week 524Week 525Week 526Week 527Week 528
Week 529Week 530Week 531Week 532Week 533Week 534
Week 535Week 536Week 537Week 538Week 539Week 540
Week 541Week 542Week 543Week 544Week 545Week 546
Week 547Week 548Week 549Week 550Week 551Week 552
Week 553Week 554Week 555Week 556Week 557Week 558
Week 559Week 560Week 561Week 562Week 563Week 564
Week 565Week 566Week 567Week 568Week 569Week 570
Week 571Week 572Week 573Week 574Week 575Week 576
Week 577Week 578Week 579Week 580Week 581Week 582
Week 583Week 584Week 585Week 586Week 587Week 588
Week 589Week 590Week 591Week 592Week 593Week 594
Week 595Week 596Week 597Week 598Week 599Week 600
Week 601Week 602Week 603Week 604Week 605Week 606
Week 607Week 608Week 609Week 610Week 611Week 612
Week 613Week 614Week 615Week 616Week 617Week 618
Week 619Week 620Week 621Week 622Week 623Week 624
Week 625Week 626Week 627Week 628Week 629Week 630
Week 631Week 632Week 633Week 634Week 635Week 636
Week 637Week 638Week 639Week 640Week 641Week 642
Week 643Week 644Week 645Week 646Week 647Week 648
Week 649Week 650Week 651Week 652Week 653Week 654
Week 655Week 656Week 657Week 658Week 659Week 660
Week 661Week 662Week 663Week 664Week 665Week 666
Week 667Week 668Week 669Week 670Week 671Week 672
Week 673Week 674Week 675Week 676Week 677Week 678
Week 679Week 680Week 681Week 682Week 683Week 684
Week 685Week 686Week 687Week 688Week 689Week 690
Week 691Week 692Week 693Week 694Week 695Week 696
Week 697Week 698Week 699Week 700Week 701Week 702
Week 703Week 704Week 705Week 706Week 707Week 708
Week 709Week 710Week 711Week 712Week 713Week 714
Week 715Week 716Week 717Week 718Week 719Week 720
Week 721Week 722Week 723Week 724Week 725Week 726
Week 727Week 728Week 729Week 730Week 731Week 732
Week 733Week 734Week 735Week 736Week 737Week 738
Week 739Week 740Week 741Week 742Week 743Week 744
Week 745Week 746Week 747Week 748Week 749Week 750
Week 751Week 752Week 753Week 754Week 755Week 756
Week 757Week 758Week 759Week 760Week 761Week 762
Week 763Week 764Week 765Week 766Week 767Week 768
Week 769Week 770Week 771Week 772Week 773Week 774
Week 775Week 776Week 777Week 778Week 779Week 780
Week 781Week 782Week 783Week 784Week 785Week 786
Week 787Week 788Week 789Week 790Week 791Week 792
Week 793Week 794Week 795Week 796Week 797 


IMPORTANT - SUBMISSION POLICY! By uploading or otherwise submitting any materials to Neopets, you (and your parents) are automatically granting us permission to use those materials for free in any manner we can think of forever throughout the universe. These materials must be created ONLY by the person submitting them - you cannot submit someone else's work. Also, if you're under age 18, ALWAYS check with your parents before you submit anything to us!